Here's my take the great Sarah Palin abdication.
There's an old World War I era saying which goes, "How you gonna' keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Paree?", reflecting how our young men would be changed by serving overseas during the Great War.
The same could be said of Sarah Palin after the 2008 Presidential election. She got to see the media attention, the adulation of the crowds, the personal care from her handlers, the obscene amounts of money gotten and spent and more. This had to have changed her. It would likely change anyone who was not born into it or at least be gradually exposed to it. It's a powerful drug, one that causes an itch which can never be satisfied.
I suspect she's decided to pursue this ephemera with reckless abandon; reckless enough to ignore the very real negative effects of her resignation on her reputation with people who value stability, loyalty and trust.
Ok, so much we've already figured out. What I'm contributing to the discussion is that she's also not going to be seeking the Presidency. I obviously don't know the person, so all I can do is go by the historical record of what she has said, attempted and accomplished. Just running for the Presidency requires an unprecedented level of commitment. Being President requires an unprecedented level of focus.
Frankly, it's not that she may not be capable, I just don't think she wants to invest herself that fully. I think she just wants to be around power and money and figures that some of it is bound to come her way. I also don't doubt that she's going to play coy with her admirers to maintain their interest.
I think she wants to immediately graduate to Elder Statesman of the Republican party. That would be in keeping with the historical record. I also suspect there are a number of Republican politicians who are scared to death that this will happen.